February 4, 2007
Careful, Super Bowl Brand Name is Off Limits
The Wall Street Journal blog points out that we are not allowed to use the terms "Super Bowl," "Super Sunday," "NFL" and team nicknames.
We are supposed to instead use the term "Big Game." The NFL has also forbidden churches to allow their congregation to view the game on 55" screens and has nixed plans for "Super Bowl parties" held by churches as well.
This is to protect Nielsen ratings: if the NFL had its way, we'd all watch the bowl on our own TVs to keep the numbers up. As one lawyer points out, however, much of this clamping down on businesses (and churches) using the name is just out of bounds. Says one, "If Joe’s bar wants to run a 2-for-1 special for the Super Bowl, I don’t see how that’s trading off of the good will and property rights of the NFL."
I’m not sure if this is a subject that should get people so steamed up since there are plenty of loopholes. Not least is the one Samsung discovered: it got itself named as the official HDTV of the NFL, allowing all of the Samsung resellers carte blanche to the name.
Enjoy the Super Bowl today, ur, I mean the Big Game.
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